Tuesday, May 19, 1998
Ann Arbor Area Among Fastest Growing High-Tech Regions in U.S. The Michigan Jobs Commission announced the results of a recent software study today which found that the Ann Arbor-Troy-Farmington Hills area is one of the top ten rapid growth high-technology metro areas in the country. The study, sponsored by the Michigan Jobs Commission and the Michigan Information Technologies Roundtable and administered by Philip Psilos, senior consultant at Deloitte & Touche Fantus Consulting, showed that Michigan is one of the top three states in the U.S. for employment in the Computer Integrated System Design segment of the software industry. "We've suspected for some time that our economy was increasingly high tech and diverse," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and department director of the Michigan Jobs Commission. "This study is proof that Michigan is in the forefront in the nation in what has become one of the most important industries today." The study reported that Michigan's software industry includes some 2,483 companies with employment ranging from 0 (sole proprietorship) to 2,536 (Compuware, highest verifiable employment). This includes not only companies whose principal business is software, but also includes hardware manufacturers and resellers and systems providers with software content. The study also found that total Michigan's software employment is over 32,000. However, this number is likely to be much higher because much of the software industry is embedded in other sectors. In the Ann Arbor area the software employment is estimated to be well over 4000, but this is also likely to be higher because the number does not include University of Michigan activities. The study also found that the primary sectors in which Ann Arbor's software firms participate includes electronic data interchange, medical imaging, optics, telecommunications network security, and computer-aided engineering, but added that the auto-related software development industry has enormous growth potential in the area. "The study has helped us realize how successful Michigan is becoming in the information technology industry," said Rothwell. "With this information, we can work to develop Michigan's information technology industry to its highest potential." Psilos will give a presentation on the development potential for the software industry in the Ann Arbor area at the Michigan Jobs Commission's Information Technologies Town Hall Meeting taking place on Wednesday, May 20, at the Sheraton Inn, 3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor, from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Information Technologies Roundtable is a group of more than 150 key executives from companies across the state that assist the Michigan Jobs Commission in making the industry more competitive, thereby creating jobs. The Roundtable's Internet site www.state.mi.us/medc/business/business.htm includes information on the town hall meetings, and by the Fall will have an interactive "virtual town hall meeting" on line.